Coming soon to a table near you: long summer days, outdoor entertaining and Shavuot. All of these occasions lend themselves to enjoying cheese. I realize that the concept of a cheese course is fairly new to most Jews having grown up in America with very little kosher cheese to choose, but the time is right. There has never been more kosher gourmet cheeses available than there are right now. So, even if you don’t think you’re a cheese person, give it a chance, you might surprise yourself.
Now, the question is when to serve this fabulous course, it really is suited equally to appetizer or dessert. Take your pick, would you rather come home from shul, say Kiddush and sip your wine with cheese and crackers and nuts and olives while waiting for the food to warm up. Or consider an easy dessert that will satisfy everyone.
Today, we start with the appetizer cheese plate. Brigitte Mizrahi is the CEO of Anderson International Foods, Inc.. She started the company over 15 years ago and strives to find new cheese to make kosher, new concepts, and serving ideas. It is a life passion. Brigitte loves great cheeses and all things gourmet!!!!
I spoke to Brigitte to help us understand how to construct our cheese plate. Brigitte loves to start her meal with a cheese board before they even go to the table. It is very French to sit and relax with some cheese and crudites, if there are no kids or they are playing in the other room, it can last an hour. Here are Brigitte’s tips for cheese plate construction:
1. Choose around 3 types of cheeses that are all different styles. Just by looking at them you can tell they are different, from blocks, to softer rounds, to different colors.
2. Try and choose cheeses that come from different milk types, like cow, goat and sheep. Brigitte notes that sheep’s milk cheese is still harder to come by right now, so it is ok to stick to what is easy to find.
3. Start with a soft goat cheese, spreads nicely on bread or crackers or even baby peppers. To kick your goat cheese up a notch, cover it with a pesto and garnish with herbs and crushed nuts.
4. Then choose a rich and creamy cheese, like Brie, tastes wonderful with some Bonne Maman Cherry Jam on top.
5. Next, you can choose an aged cheddar or a flavored cheese like an herb pepper jack cheese or even a Swiss. If you are really adventurous try something a little stronger, like a blue cheese. Brigitte makes a Blue Marble that is a great starter blue cheese – very mild.
6. Serve olives, salty nuts and cornichons along with the cheeses and even a bit of honey and jam.
Come back tomorrow for tips on serving cheese for dessert and get more great ideas from Brigitte by liking her on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/NaturalandKosherCheese